Yesterday I learned, I’m not scary, and I’m always happy.

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I was in Fort Worth, Texas to compete in the USTPA World Championships.  I’d hoped that the title of this post would be I Won a Buckle.  Instead, I was 24th out of 249, and that doesn’t sound too shabby.  Like many of my rides, that ride comes with a cute story.  I will make that one short and sweet.

I had one more ride to go after a long day of watching the cows beat, not just me, but 75% of the contestants.  I went to the office to pay my bill and joked with the staff saying if I pay my bill now they could write my check when I won it on my last ride.  I figured that would bring me good luck.  I rode to the arena to find my team mate, and the cutest young girl, Cierra came up to say “Ms. Kathy, you are my last hope, I haven’t done a thing all day.”  I said “perfect, you are my last hope, let’s go get this started.”  We sorted 7 cows, which was a lot for this day and we waited excitedly for the second go to keep advancing.  On the second go, we sorted 5 cows, not too shabby, but 12 cows might not take us to the top 20.  I watched as Cierra remained hopeful that we would meet up for a top 20 return.  We were cut and our chances of a check were gone. At least I felt I had come a bit closer to a win, and I had made a brighter day for such a sweet girl.

Yesterday was my last day fulfilling my duties as a USTPA director.  I have fulfilled my 2 terms as of this World Show.  I was the USTPA director in charge on this day, and there were a few skirmishes I had to attend to.  One protest involved a polite teenager, named Ellie.  She questioned the judges call on a ride, and by the time I had arrived they had worked out the details.  I followed Ellie out of the sorting pen to be sure she was happy with the decision.  She assured me she was, then her father looked up at her and said” Ask Ms. Kathy about your other ride.”  I looked up at her on her horse, and I could see she was embarrassed.  I said ” what can I help you with?  She looked timid, but shared with me how she was afraid her ride from earlier in the day was not correct.  I remembered the ride, I had watched it, and I assured her I would go to the officials and verify the outcome.  Her dad looked up at her and said, “see honey, I told you you could ask Ms. Kathy about that ride.”  What she said next, made my day!!  I could probably say, what she said made my entire 4 years of being on the board all worthwhile.  Ellie looked at her dad and said, “THAT IS BECAUSE, SHE’S NOT SCARY AND SHE’S ALWAYS HAPPY.”  I smiled at her and thanked her for making my day.  I laughed with the people around us and said if that is the legacy I have left behind, I feel very accomplished.  I was glad that the young people in this program had someone they could approach and not feel frightened.  I thought back to the many times I had gone to bat for some youth rider during the last 4 years and how I may have created a reputation to brag about, I’M NOT SCARY AND I’M ALWAYS HAPPY.  I drove home that night thinking how my achievements in the USTPA have not been all about the wins or the rules I changed.  I did start a cool fund raiser that made $85,000 for the scholarship fund and that is fine.  But what I really cherish is that a sweet teenager said that “I’M NOT SCARY AND I’M ALWAYS HAPPY”   Thank you Ellie for making my day!!!!

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